Friday, 17 May 2013

#BEDM - Walk to Work

PicMonkey Collage
Turns out blogging when your husband goes away with the laptop and camera isn't so easy - who knew?

I'm writing this at the end of my working day, before I head home. Here are some snapshots taken at various times of the year of the short walk I make to work. When the sun is shining it is a lovely area to walk through. When it rains I don't take photos, I put my hood up and walk as fast as I can!

I'm very lucky to have a short and picturesque walk to work.

PicMonkey Collage2

Images all my own.
Find out everything about Blog Every Day in May (#BEDM) at Rosalilium

Friday, 10 May 2013

#BEDM-Travel Dreams

I didn't do the last 2 posts for Blog Every Day in May as I didn't really feel I had much to say on them. I'm conscious that these posts are written very quickly and probably not as much thought goes in to them as it should do. But I'm writing them at work as I am computer-less right now so if nothing else it's polishing up my (minimal) html skills!

I do love a holiday but as I've got older I've been torn between the relaxation and chill-out versus getting out there and doing things. I think my ideal is a mix of both.

I don't have an exotic holiday booked this year but one of my friends is getting married in Belfast so we're taking a few days to travel up the Antrim Coast and have just booked a wigwam near Giant's Causeway. I'm beyond excited by the prospect of sleeping in a wigwam! We've also got a hotel in Belfast for a night, a city I've been to a couple of times but not for years. I'm hoping to go over to the Titanic Quarter as there wasn't much there last time I visited.

If you've never been to Giant's Causeway I'd definitely recommend it. It is so much bigger than I imagined and it's amazing just to be able to walk over all the hexagons. I'm really looking forward to going back. In fact, the whole Antrim Coast is gorgeous, especially if the sun shines like the last time I was there...finger crossed!

Find out everything about Blog Every Day in May (#BEDM) at Rosalilium

Tuesday, 7 May 2013


I don't mind animals but the only pets I've ever had were a couple of goldfish that I don't ever remember being that interested in. They wouldn't make for a hugely exciting blog post.

Instead I'm directing you to Kirsty's blog, where she does an fabulous line in dogs wearing clothes (and writes excellently about other stuff too!)

Find out everything about Blog Every Day in May (#BEDM) at Rosalilium

Monday, 6 May 2013

#BEDM - bank holiday

No posts on Saturday or Sunday for me as I was away in the gorgeous Dumfries and Galloway for a birthday trip! This is a quick one too and written on the ipad so I apologise for any formatting issues in advance.

My husband doesn't get bank holidays off work so they're usually my 'me time'. I had planned to spend today doing a bit of crochet, tidying up the house and maybe popping into the shops with my birthday vouchers. However, my mum and dad decided to come and visit me for my birthday which scuppers those plans. We went for a couple of drinks last night and they've just gone off to the museum near my flat while I do a little bit of housework and write this blog post! I'm meeting them in half an hour for lunch then my dad wants to go to the shops. He's definitely the biggest shopaholic in our family.

In past years the May Day bank holiday has traditionally meant a Sunday night out for my birthday. Now I like to enjoy a relaxing day and savour the four day working week-proper sign of getting old!

Find out everything about Blog Every Day in May (#BEDM) at Rosalilium

Friday, 3 May 2013

#BEDM - Day in the Life

Today's topic is a 'Day in the Life'. Today is my birthday, so it is an excellent day in my life!

This time last year I turned 30. I went to work in Edinburgh, I met my parents and hubby for dinner in Leith and we sat outside for drinks. Yep, last year it was sunny in May.
The next day we went to London to visit my old flatmate and her boyfriend for the weekend. We went to Borough Market, Skybar, Wahaca and ate and drank much more than I can recall now. So I basically just spent the first weekend of my 30s stuffing my face - start as you mean to go on!

This year we are both off work for the day and we're taking a trip down to Dumfries, somewhere neither of us really know. I'm hoping for sunshine, walks, relaxation and scones!

I hope you all have a lovely day too

Find out everything about Blog Every Day in May (#BEDM) at Rosalilium

Thursday, 2 May 2013

#BEDM - Spring

PicMonkey Collage

To me, spring heralds the appearance of light and colour back to my life.

Winters in Scotland can be very dark and grey so I really appreciate the light mornings when they begin.
This year I've been trying to buy myself more flowers. They really brighten up the room and don't have to be expensive to feel like a treat. The daffodils and freesia in the photos cost a few pounds and made my living room brighter and happier. I should really buy some more.

When I was young daffodils grew everywhere and we used to pick them for money in the school Easter holidays. Your flowers were scrutinised to make sure they were the correct length of stem. It was so nerve-wracking to take them up to the man in charge in case he refused them and you didn't get paid! Ah, the good old days.

The flowers in the scientific glassware were on the tables at my friend's wedding recently. We shared a bench when we worked in the lab and her old boss lent her all the different flasks which were then filled with a gorgeous mix of wildflowers. They were very much admired, and not just by the scientists!

Tonight I'm off to the opening of a new exhibition at my work, lured in by the promise of canapes and bubbly, before I finish for a long weekend. I'm hoping the weather remains spring-like but having seen the forecast this morning I'm not hopeful.

Images all by me, on my phone, because I'm lazy and rarely carry a camera.
Find out everything about Blog Every Day in May (#BEDM) at Rosalilium

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

#BEDM - 5 lines

Blog Every Day in May
A challenge if ever there was one
If I appear on here more often
I'll take that as a win
But probably not every day

Image from Rotten Cupcakes
Find out everything about Blog Every Day in May (#BDEM) at Rosalilium

Thursday, 7 March 2013

This week

Spring arrived and left again. I heard on the news on Monday that it hadn’t rained in Glasgow for three weeks. This is nothing short of a minor miracle, one which had not gone unnoticed and for which I was very grateful. Those three weeks are over.

Weekend waffle making and a trip to Summerlee while the sunshine lasted.

Five times in 2 days I’ve been asked if I was a student. I am under no illusions that it was out of desperation to get votes in the student elections rather than my youthful looks, but I’ll still take it as a win. I cleared out my jewellery box - a long overdue task. I got some stacking ones for Christmas that have been sitting in my bedroom looking very pretty but completely empty.

Last night I spread out every bit of jewellery I own on the floor. Lots of reminders stored in that box; of family and friends, a high school dance, special birthdays, weddings or just the memory of buying something. Everything was picked up, examined, organised and put away in its new place. I’ve resolved to try and wear more jewellery as I have lots that had been forgotten - starting today with these little silver earrings.

Crochet friends to send off for Mothers' Day!

I finished ‘Great House’ by Nicole Krauss, I didn’t love it. I found the interweaving stories a bit confusing and it all felt a bit literary and clever for my simple reading tastes. I love a good story, a book that grips me and makes me want to find out more. I didn’t really care about finding out more in this book and there wasn’t really a conclusion to speak of in the end. It was ok but I think there are better books out there to read before this one. ‘Gone Girl’ on the other hand, I’m already hooked and trying to figure out when I can sneak in some more reading time!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Catch up

So meal planning Monday totally worked, until last night I was starting the bolognese and sliced my finger open. Once the bleeding had stopped I felt a bit ill so ended up just eating toast and Nutella for tea instead - healthy. Tonight is spaghetti but I think I'll leave the chopping to someone else.

In other news, I finally finished In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. This book, one of my huge stack of library books to plough through, took me bloody ages to read! It was an average length novel, 340 pages, but it only had four chapters. Four chapters is not acceptable for a book of that size. For this reason I found I could only really read it in big chunks of time. 15 minutes here and there was not going to cut it with the mega-chapters.

I struggled to get into it but had heard good things so I persevered. This is not a spoiler, you know from the start there’s been a murder (say it in your best Taggart voice). But the reviews I had read said what compelled them to keep reading was the details - the how and the why. They were right and as I read on I found myself wanting to know all the details too. Especially because they were real and they happened. In the end I really enjoyed it (even though it did give me nightmares!) and I think a lot of that was due to the fact it was based on a true crime.

Stupidly I have since started another crime book, In The Woods. This one hasn't given me nightmares yet.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Meal planning Monday

I usually plan our meals anyway but by taking part in Meal Planning Monday maybe I’ll be more encouraged to do it at the start of the week. It also happens to be a Meat-Free Monday this week, never one to pass up any bandwagons to jump on! I won’t post it every week but if anyone has a recipe they swear by please let me know. I’m trying to use more of my cookbooks but this week is looking quite busy so I think it’ll be back to old staples.

Monday – Falafel, couscous, pittas, tzatziki and salad
Tuesday – Spaghetti bolognaise
Wednesday – Chunky veg soup with bread
Thursday – Keema curry and wedges
Friday – at the in-laws
Saturday – at the in-laws
Sunday – Naan/pitta pizzas

I’m trying to lose a few pounds that have crept on over the past few months and I find planning healthy meals really works. It’s the socialising/visiting other people bit where it all falls down. My mum always has pudding when we go there and when we visit my in-laws they seem to have a constant stream of crisps on the go. I don’t like to go on about losing weight so I just eat whatever they make for meals but my willpower isn’t very good when the snacks come out. It’s also not so easy when we live quite far away from both sets of parents so we usually go for at least one night, if not two, usually involving a takeaway or meal out.

Also alcohol is a big weight gain culprit for me but it’s hard to say no to a drink without people thinking you’re pregnant! Curse of being in your 30’s I suppose :) Hopefully I can manage to shift this spare tyre by eating healthily and going to the gym during the week, but it's not the end of the world if it takes a while - you've got to live a little.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Crochet obsessed

It all started when my sister-in-law announced she was pregnant. I thought that it would be a nice idea to make something for my first niece/nephew (he was actually a nephew called Ruaridh – born in December). I had crocheted once or twice at school but hadn’t done any crafts like this for years and years. Turns out crocheting is quite addictive once you start!

  • A bundle of charity poppies for Cath Fearn of Cottage Crafts. She sells these on eBay to raise money for the Poppy Appeal. I'm hoping to do more of these this year and rope my mum in too!
  •  A giant granny square blanket for a friend’s baby girl
I'm currently working on a blanket in pastel colours for my cousin’s baby girl. She's not due until June though so I have a while.

There are loads of free patterns available online and I love thinking of what I can make for the next baby that comes along. I tend to get bored doing the same thing over and over again so I’m trying to make something different each time. I love it - even if my hubby does call me a granny!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Thursday tune

This is Laura Mvula's first TV performance. I love how smiley she gets when singing the last few lines. I've been humming this song ever since I saw it. Enjoy

2013 so far

Hello there, it’s been a while…again. Ah well, happy Valentine’s day!
Since I last blogged I’ve been a wee bit busy. A hen do, a week in the Alps and a new job! January flew by in a whirlwind and before I had a chance to catch my breath it’s the middle of February. Here’s a bit of a catch up, let me know what you’ve been up to.


So far new job is ok, not quite what I expected but am giving it time. Having 2 academics for bosses is a bit odd. I’ve still got my own office which gets a bit boring and lonely – I had hoped for some colleagues this time. But there is no commute, yay! I love being able to walk to work and go home for lunch. I also like having shops nearby, unlike my old job, although my purse may disagree.


I’ve taken part in 3 blog/Twitter swaps in the past couple of months –Bex’s Olive Dragonfly Secret Santa, Anna’s #heartswap and the Any Other Woman bookswap. I've loved getting the presents together for my recipients and also receiving exciting parcels in the post. My gifts were all fab -thank you so much Anna, Vivienne and Laura x - and I can’t wait to read my bookswap book, ‘Of Bees and Mist’ by Eric Setiwan. I’ve never heard of it before but the blurb sounds good.


We’ve managed to do a bit of sorting out and made a few changes in our flat and as a result I feel far happier there now than at the end of last year. Our bedroom is painted, carpeted and has some things on the walls - a small deer head and our anniversary Quentin Blake print. I love them both. Plus Ikea have kindly brought out a new storage unit that was clearly designed to fit the space in our hall, thanks Swedish Furniture Gods.


My local libraries offer a free ordering system that it would be rude not to take advantage of. After seeing a few end of year book rounds ups, I excitedly ordered several (ok, 10) books thinking they wouldn’t all come in together – they did. I may be some time.


So 2013 has got off to a fine start. Since present swapping and Ikea browsing don’t take up *all* of my time, we’ve managed to watch the whole first series of the West Wing (Go Bartlett!) and find a replacement car for the one someone kindly wrote off for us. I’ve also been crocheting up a storm for the baby boom that is my life but I’ll save that for another post!

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Resolve - January Joy #1 lose the spare tyre composed entirely of cheese and chocolate start a new exercise (and continue it post January!) cook from cookbooks more often be more organised at home learn something new see more of the UK finish ongoing craft projects be generous

Happy New Year!